Should We Start Blaming LeBron?

The NBA Finals return to Cleveland tomorrow with the Warriors comfortably harnessing 2-0 series lead. The Cavs will look to rebound and hold serve at home, but given the result of the first two contests, the chances of a Warriors repeat has transitioned from, “Will they win two in a row?” to “How many games will it take them to close out this series?” to “Just how bad are the Cavaliers?” to “Is this even worth watching anymore?” within most social circles.

The Cavaliers’ roster isn’t talented enough to compete on the same level as their Western Conference counterparts.

Aside from maybe LeBron James (I must emphasize maybe because he’s been outplayed by Andre Iguodala on both ends of the floor), the Warriors have demonstrated their vast superiority over the Cavs in every way, and at every position imaginable. That includes players, coaches, the front office, owners, ball boys, custodians, and even thirsty fans.

James & Co. may have steamrolled their way to The Finals without much resistance from the Eastern Conference,  but at this point it’s hard to imagine them advancing past the rebuilding Trailblazers if they played in the west.

The Cavs’ dismal performance has also unearthed some interesting personal questions, such as:

  1. Is Kyrie Irving a superstar? (Skip Bayless says yes, but he’s said some pretty dumb shit over the years.)
  2. Is LeBron’s game limited?
  3. Is Tyrone Lue still suffering from the effects of Iverson stepping over him? (Is he, though? Because he’s coaching like it!)
  4. Did J.R. Smith suddenly forget how to shoot?
  5. When should we declare Kevin Love a missing person?
  6. Did those Uncle Drew Pepsi commercials mislead us into thinking Kyrie and Love were really about that buckets life?
  7. Will LeBron ever follow the Cavs Twitter account again?

Find out on the next episode of Dragon Ball Z! (I know, this is overused and incredibly corny, but I still enjoy doing it.)

One question that I legitimately have is how much blame LeBron should shoulder for this year’s Finals debacle. Barring a monumental turnaround, James’ performance will be futilely dissected by paid talking heads to exhaustion. (Prepare for an incoherent Stephen A. Smith rant daily until the start of the upcoming NFL season.)

Some will label him the Peyton Manning of basketball. Others will continue to discredit his accolades with cretinous comparisons to Michael Jordan. (Seriously, stop this shit. It doesn’t make sense.)

But aside from on-court performance, I’m more interested in observing LeBron’s role in assembling this inept (ok, they’re not that bad, are they?) roster, and possibly, the coaching staff. David Griffin may be the GM, but James’ fingerprints are evident in every facet of the Cavs organization.

From roster decisions (I still have no idea how Tristan Thompson is making $82 million over five years) to coaching moves (Blatt, I’m sorry it had to be you, G), James’ preferences are king, even if Griffin (and James) refuse to acknowledge it publicly. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if the team’s uniforms aren’t cleared through Bron Bron before each game. (Remember that time he tore up his sleeves mid game? Has he worn sleeved jerseys since?)

The Cavs are clearly doing everything in their power to keep their hometown superstar happy, and I don’t blame them. They’re hell bent on avoiding another 2010 catastrophe (no one wants to witness another Dan Gilbert temper tantrum and jersey burning rituals). But at what cost?

At LeBron’s behest, the Cavs have over-invested in a power forward to just rebound (Tristan Thompson), traded away a promising wing player for a power forward who only shoots and rebounds (Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love), given away assets for two inconsistent role players (draft picks for Shumpert and Smith), and fired a veteran coach in favor of a rookie. Not to mention they’ve devoted unnecessary playing to Matthew Dellavadova, the league’s dirtiest, most maladroit player. (Seriously, why the fuck is he even in the NBA? He fucking sucks. Are there some advanced statistics that I’m missing proving otherwise? Because the eye test says under no circumstance should you ever pick this dude up, even at a rec center.)

I’m sure LeBron’s return to Cleveland, for as heartfelt as it was, came with very specific stipulations and a metric-ass ton of control, especially after Dan Gilbert’s tasteless, vitriolic tirade (it was pretty terrible). And I certainly understand James’ lack of confidence in Griffin’s ability equip him with a championship caliber supporting cast (relax LeBron, no one is going to sign Shaq for the veteran’s minimum anymore).

But whatever the case, the Cavs mortgaging their entire future hasn’t resulted in another ring for King James, and it isn’t likely to. Only now, it’s probably his fault.

Advertisements

Dear White People, Ali Wasn’t Yours

“I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.”

-Muhammad Ali

I’ve been struggling to find the words that adequately describe my appreciation for the life of Muhammad Ali. Since news broke of his death, I’ve observed some beautiful tributes over the past 36 hours. Some delineated his remarkable boxing skills and unwavering determination. Others mentioned his charismatic personality and buoyant confidence. A few dared to outline the incredible courage that defined his legacy during the racially tumultuous 1960s. The best ones did both.

I didn’t witness Ali’s vicious reign in the ring or his candid theatrics. I was a no-thought when he defied the government, routinely professed his faith, and publicly displayed his supreme indifference to the shedding of white tears. By the time I was old enough to appreciate his nobility, the Muhammad Ali that motivated and inspired the world with his brash outspokenness was all but a casualty courtesy of his brutal profession and the cruelty of Parkinson’s.

But one thing I do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is Ali didn’t trust many White folks. Outside of Howard Cosell, he affectionately referred to Caucasians as “White Devils.” After all, white people HATED Ali and weren’t shy about displaying it. (Some still hate him in the wake of his death.) They staunchly opposed his existence and routinely showered him with death threats. They hated his religious conviction, his brazenness, and his insolence. Most of all, they hated that he kept winning.

It wasn’t just that Cassius Clay became the champion of the world. White America has always been tolerant, even fond of, the docile Negro athlete; a black individual who’s extraordinary physical abilities entertain without challenging the established order of things. It’s one of the reasons why America lauds Russell Wilson and Stephen Curry but reviles Cam Newton and Richard Sherman. Make us awe but never demur us. Be victorious but don’t proclaim greatness.

No, Clay’s maturation was far more threatening than any punch he could ever throw. In becoming Muhammad Ali he evolved into the self-righteous Negro white folks gravely feared. Furthermore, the gentle giant sought to use his prestigious title as a platform to influence change. Ali was OUR hero.

Given all of this, there are a few tributes that I simply don’t understand. Donald Trump recognized Ali for being “A truly great champion and a wonderful guy.” This after questioning the existence of Muslim sports heroes altogether. While the oversized Oompa Loompa with a terrible comb-over has received a great deal of well-deserved criticism, it’s not the only demonstration of hypocrisy.

For instance, this afternoon, Louisville’s baseball team took on Wright State during the NCAA Regionals in caps adorned with “Ali.” On its face value, it’s a guileless act of appreciation. After all, Ali was born and raised in Louisville, KY, and his memorial services are scheduled to commence at the city’s KFC Yum! Center (possibly one of the dumbest names for an arena) this upcoming Friday. But it’s still tough for me to grasp this as a genuine gesture of appreciation.

College baseball is meteorically white. Not Hispanic, like it’s professional counterpart. It’s WHITE. And the University of Louisville, like most PWIs, has a disturbing history of racial insensitivity. Not to mention Kentucky selected Trump as its Republican nominee and will most likely vote for him come November.

So, allow me to ask, are you celebrating the life of a heavyweight fighter who merely beat up other black folks or an icon who defined a generation? One cannot be revered without the other. Ali’s presence isn’t only exemplified by his athletic superiority. His greatness is deeply rooted in his unapologetic Blackness. His aura is explicated by his unflinching desire to be exactly who he wanted to be. His faults and vulnerability made him relatable to the average man, further strengthening his impact.

Thus, if you are to celebrate Ali and his many accomplishments, you must also recognize him and his convictions. He should not serve as a caricature for your pleasure or a token for your cliched bullshit. He cannot be adopted into your agenda because he was the antithesis of its existence. He must not be trivialized to material accolades or discredited for his shortcomings.

We may never witness another Ali. Few have had the power to transcend their sport and influence social change – namely Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods – but they never displayed the courage to walk in his image.

It’s a notion that saddened me, but since his death, one that I’ve grudgingly accepted. For obvious scientific reasons, there can never be another Muhammad Ali. One cannot ever truly replicate another. But even if someone could imitate his actions within a similar context I’m not convinced it would be enough. Ali sits upon a throne on his own. And that’s what makes him “The Greatest.”

Ali bomaye.

Hoping The Warriors Lose In The Finals Because Of Steph Curry’s Cockiness Is Dumb

Thanks to either an apocalyptic meltdown or a resurrection reminiscent of Lazarus (I prefer meltdown, but, eh, to each its own), the Warriors will play the Cavs tonight in a redux of last year’s mediocre NBA Finals.

Frankly, I don’t care who wins. I can easily tolerate a “Greatest team in the history of the NBA” narrative the same way I can a “Prodigal son returns home to provide a championship to a desperate fanbase.” I just want to see some competitive basketball and a few entertaining post-bucket celebrations. (Staredowns, stomps, shimmying, all the shit is welcome.)

But one thing that’s making the fuzz beneath my balls crinkle is the growing number of casual basketball fans who are hoping for Golden State’s demise because they believe Stephen Curry has turned into a cocky piece of shit.

Curry used to be humble, nah mean? Like, he won MVP and got a ‘ship and now he all holier than thou, and disrespectful and what not. I don’t like that shit!

This is the dumbest shit that I’ve heard since DC fanboys tried to convince me “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” was cinematically more realistic than “Captain America: Civil War.” (It’s not. Sit yo’ salty ass down somewhere with that nonsense.)

You mean to tell me that this light-skinned, son of a professional basketball-playing father and a collegiate star-athlete mother (and she fine), husband to a modelesque wife (I don’t care what you say bruh, she fine too), who has his own signature shoe, and is a starting guard in the NBA, suddenly became arrogant between last year’s championship and now? NO. That’s idiotic.

Curry has been cocky since the day he was born. While you were busy snacking on pasteurized cheese products, Steph was devouring healthy portions of Foie gras. His childhood room was most likely a combination of Richy Rich meets Theo Huxtable. He was playing one-on-one with NBA ballers while you were throwing rubber rec balls at a makeshift hoop constructed with milk crates and duct tape. He’s been cocky for awhile now.

I know we’ve become accustomed to this lovely notion that Curry is just a humble, God-fearing, family man who’s strength comes from those around him, some of which is probably true. But it’s also the feel-good fictive that the NBA wants you to devour. It sells tickets and moves merchandise from stockroom shelves to the confines of your living room.

Beneath this veneer there also exists a self-absorbed, endogenous, “ball is life” assassin. And that’s not necessarily a terrible thing. You can be cocky and decent at the same damn time. Just as you can be unpretentious and a dick, at the same damn time. It can happen.

ALL PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES ARE COCKY, SOMEWHAT NARCISSISTIC HUMAN BEINGS. Every last one of them. Because sometimes it’s necessary.

Becoming a specimen that is paid to perform at a supremely elite-level is hard as fuck. While most have been gifted with some fortuitous physical traits (like being seven feet tall), and blind luck (like being the seed of a professional athlete), it’s still a steep road to trek. (What up doe Marcus Jordan?!)

Thus, if you don’t have some belief that all that is good and pure in the entire world revolves around your undeniable greatness, you will fail. (BELIEVE IN YO’SELF DAMMIT!)

I’m not referring to confidence. That’s for regular folks. It’s reserved for mere mortals who sort through data sets, prepare lesson plans (I love teachers), or muster up the courage to ask an attractive chick at Buffalo Wild Wings for their number.

What I’m talking about a supreme aura created with the knowledge that you can alter the fabric of the entire universe.

It’s what drives some of the best athletes to devote countless hours and an inordinate amount of energy to their craft. Their professional existence is centered on the notion that an entire organization’s success will be determined by their performance.

If you’re bothered by Wardell Jr.’s brash celebratory outbursts –like staring into someone’s soul after obliterating their ankles or turning up court after shooting an improbable 3-pointer before the ball hits the bottom of the net – get over yourself. J.R. Smith practically catches the Holy Ghost every time he nails a shot despite having none of the accolades or superlatives currently in Curry’s possession.

Professional athletes are paid to entertain, excite, and do crazy-difficult shit – like hit 35-foot, game-winning bombs with ease. Listen, you can root for, or against, whoever you want, it’s your prerogative. There are a myriad of reasons to not like the Warriors. (They win too much, they make shit look fun, they’re not your team, pick one.) But don’t hate on someone because they’re not the person you want them to be. That’s fucking stupid.

j-r-smith3pointcelebration

 

I’m Getting Sick of This

When I was younger, my Uncle Howard used to tell me these wondrous stories about his extraordinary life. Some were hilarious yarns about how he’d escaped imminent ass whippings during his childhood courtesy of his quick wit and unsuspecting humor. Others were grim details about his otherwise uneventful service in Vietnam.

One story that stuck with me was a story about the brutal racism black men encountered in the south, specifically the dangers of DWBing (Driving While Black) in Alabama and Mississippi once the sun set.
I can’t recall the exact details, but I remember the angst he displayed when telling me his disturbing account about how colored folks were viciously attacked by law enforcement. His eyes were almost lifeless. His voice was ghastly. It was a depressing story, one that my Aunt Cheryl would always insist shouldn’t be told to teenagers. Howard would resist this assertion, insisting that it was imperative my twin brother and I understood the perils of racism.

He would usually follow up this parable with some “nigga” joke reminiscent of Richard Pryor. His arsenal was full of them. And they were all hilarious.

Since then I’ve had my fair share of unexpected encounters with the police. In high school, as a passenger, I was once stopped and aggressively told to put my hands in plain sight. Myself, along with my brother, and a group of our friends (5 Black males in an SUV), we were headed to see a movie or something in a predominantly white neighborhood before being pulled over for displaying “suspicious behavior.”

In college, I was detained for carrying a golf club in a park during broad daylight, while practicing golf. According to the officer, he had received a call about a “large, suspicious man wielding a dangerous object, possibly destroying property.”

I’ve even been stopped under suspicion of “engaging in legal activity” for driving around in a parking lot. Apparently the lot I pulled into was a cesspool for organized crime, and my red, late model Chevy hatchback was threatening. (Note: This event happened just moments after being the victim of a break-in, while on the phone with my mother.)

But all of this pales in comparison to what I experienced last night. In fact, it was perhaps the most frightening shit that I’ve ever experienced in my life. To put things in perspective, I’m from Detroit and have had a gun pointed in my direction on more than a few occasions. While my parents did a fantastic job of shielding me, and my brother, from the ghettos of the Motor City, given the noxious nature of “The Crib” I was bound to experience some foul shit.

Also, I’m probably one of the least treacherous black people on the face of the Earth. I grew up participating in Boy Scouts and Saturday morning art classes. My summers were filled with family road trips to Mackinaw Island and Niagra Falls. My hobbies include playing golf, reading John Grisham novels, watching HBO (Game of Thrones, The Wire, Silicon Valley and Veep are my shit), collecting Star Wars t-shirts and completing wooden puzzles with my toddler son. I indulge in foodie shit like baking cornbread and finding ways to make cauliflower edible. And I drive a 2012 Ford Focus. I’m as threatening as Wayne Brady, and Carlton Banks, combined.

Nevertheless, none of this mattered at approximately 10:30 pm on May 31st, 2016. I was heading eastbound on I-20, traveling back to Atlanta, GA from Birmingham, AL. Earlier in the day I arrived at my former apartment to finish packing my belongings and complete a walk-through. (I’ma need that security deposit back, and I don’t want no surprises, b!). It had been an exhausting day.

After stopping by Panera Bread to write a quick post (again, I’m sorry, but Harambe had to die) and complete a qualifying sample SAT exam (I’m trying to tutor some youngins out here), I didn’t get on the road until about 9:30 pm. Against the counsel of my theatrical uncle, I frequently traveled through the Alabama darkness on many occasions without incident.

About 30 minutes into my drive, just outside of Lincoln, AL, I was pulled over by an Alabama State Trooper. His justification for ushering my vehicle to the highway’s shoulder was suspicion of intoxication. Apparently, a few miles prior, I was driving too erratic. I probably was, but only slightly. I was fumbling around with my auxiliary cord as I desperately needed some tunes to stay awake. (Preferably Wu-Tang Clan’s, 36 Chambers. It gets my blood flowing.)

The trooper gave the customary instructions (license, registration and proof of insurance), to which I promptly obliged. That’s when a second vehicle pulled up. Another officer alerted to the situation approached my vehicle from the rear passenger side stopping at the back door. While the first officer was busy relaying my credentials to the dispatcher, the second officer began surveying the contents of my vehicle. I don’t have tinted windows (add this to the growing list of being a non-threatening black man), so anyone can easily see what’s inside.

After getting an all-clear from the dispatcher (no warrants, outstanding tickets, unpaid child support, etc.), the first officer then looked towards the second, who from what I could tell, is still standing on the rear passenger side of my vehicle.

Here’s where things escalate quickly. The initial officer then sternly asks, “Do you have anything illegal in the vehicle or any weapons?”

I replied, “Nope.”

Displeased by this response, the officer seeks affirmation to his inquiry. “Are you sure?” he asks. “You have a lot of stuff in there. Nothing illegal?”

Again I replied, “No. I have nothing illegal.” The first officer then looks in the direction of the second, who hasn’t moved from his position since arriving at the scene. I couldn’t see what the second officer gestured towards the first, but whatever it was provided cause enough for him to clutch his firearm and command me to place my hands on the steering wheel.

“Keep your hands where I can see them,” he shouted. Now I’m beginning to freak the fuck out. Another vehicle pulls up.

A third and fourth officer are now at the scene and rush to the front of my car. The first officer shouts, “Slowly turn off your vehicle and place keys and your hands out of the window.”

I moved slower than molasses in December. I didn’t want to become a national spectacle. I didn’t want news crews showering my distraught mother with media requests. I dropped my keys and held my hands in plain sight.

“Now, slowly open the door and step out of the vehicle.” Again, I comply as if my life depends on it, because at this very moment, it does.

Exiting my vehicle, I glanced in the direction of the second officer. His firearm is withdrawn with the barrel pointed at me. Officers Three and Four immediately tackle me from behind and cuff me while Officer One begins to search my vehicle unlawfully. I am then dragged by my arms towards the front of my car, further into the unkempt, grassy shoulder. Officer Three commands me to stay put while Two and Four began assisting One with identifying the contents of my red hatchback.

Face down in the dirt I attempted to look up and witness the commotion. Immediately, Three thrusts his knee into my back, saying, “Don’t you dare fucking move.”

I calmly begin to ask, “Can I at least know…”

“JUST RELAX AND SHUT THE FUCK UP! DO NOT RESIST,” Officer Three screams. It sounds as if he’s saying “Do not resist,” to seek justification in the event he does something further, like shoot me.

Some time goes by – feels like 30 minutes, but could have been less – when One finally says to Two, “I don’t see anything. What did you see?”

“Must’ve been the golf clubs. I thought it was the barrel of a rifle or something,” he replies. The way my car is set up, my driver and 3-wood were laying across two boxes in my back seat.

“Alright, let him up,” One says to Three. He attempts pull me up, forcefully yanking my arm with his hand partially clutched around my left bicep. It’s a strenuous task (I’m 5’11, 250-pounds and not cooperating) and he asks Four to assist.

As I regain my balance with Three now uncuffing my wrists, One walks towards me and says, “Just had to make sure nothing illegal was in there. You be safe on your way to Atlanta.” Barring this bullshit I was safely on my way to Atlanta. He hands me my credentials and retreats to his vehicle. Two, Three and Four follow suit.

So there I stood in front of my car, clenched fists, dirty as fuck, boiling with anger from the violation that just occurred. I slowly walked towards my vehicle and retrieved my keys from the ground where I dropped them.

I sat in my car for a little while after the officers departed. I cried and screamed as loud is I could. I unleashed my budding rage upon the steering wheel causing the horn to sound sporadically. It was now 1:13 am. I drove another 15 minutes to Oxford, AL before deciding that tonight’s events had been enough to compel me to stay the fuck off the road until daybreak. I checked into a Holiday Inn Express and attempted to get some rest.

Side note: Hotels fill up hella quick in Oxford. Both the Hampton Inn, my preferred choice, and Courtyard Marriott (I earn points with their dubious credit card) were both sold out.

For approximately an hour and a half, four white officers acted as if I was smuggling their daughters across state lines with a sawed-off shotgun with no just cause. And it was seemingly okay.

This event won’t make national headlines. Al Sharpton isn’t going to call me and lend his unwanted support. There won’t be any public demonstrations of solidarity. For all I can tell, there isn’t even an official record of what transpired last night. (I wasn’t given a citation or even a warning.)

But my uneasiness is real. I have an unwavering legitimate fear that my life could one day end at the hands of those who are sworn to protect and serve. (For the record, I don’t think all cops are bad. It’s a dangerous job, and I profoundly respect the men and women who take their oath seriously and carry out their tasks judiciously. But the rest of you racist, bigoted pigs can fucking kick rocks). It exists because of the systemic, perpetuated bullshit that black men, women, and children are dangerous. Especially at night, and certainly in Alabama.

Imagine being too scared to drive, or walk, or fucking exist. Do you know how paralyzing that is? I sat in a Panera Bread this morning tucked away in a booth and didn’t move for 3 fucking hours because I was that shook. (Note: This one was in Oxford. I really like Panera. Their green tea is amazing and they have free wifi. You better get you some mini strawberry-rhubarb cakes and stop playing out here.) It’s bullshit.

Shit like this doesn’t happen to everyone. Just the ones lucky enough to have darker pigment. Or have different religious views. Or possess any threat to the established regime of supremacy. (White, rich and privileged.)

And frankly I’m sick of this shit. BLACK LIVES MATTER. MY LIFE MATTERS. MY SONS’ LIVES MATTERS. And if you think otherwise – that either All Lives Matter, or Gorilla Lives Matter, or any other thinly veiled racist bullshit – then you’re part of the goddamn problem.

 

 

Harambe Had To Die

This past holiday weekend a child somehow found their way into a gorilla enclosure which resulted in the death of a rare, 17-year-old, silverback gorilla.

Since then, there’s been a huge outcry — either from assholes who don’t have kids, don’t give a fuck about other people’s kids, or don’t give a fuck about black kids and are otherwise terrible people — over who’s at fault for the gorilla’s death. Some idiots are placing blame on the zoo. Most of the vilification is directed towards the parents and their lack of “effective parenting.” So much so that I now have a cursory knowledge of a terrorized father’s criminal record (Wait, did he run up on the gorilla with an AK-47?), and a distraught mother is getting death threats. (Because of course that’s logical.)

While I understand what occurred was a terrible ordeal, there shouldn’t be any debate over the end result. The gorilla had to die because safety protocol dictated that it had to die. That is to say; HUMAN LIFE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT OF AN ANIMAL BECAUSE WE ARE HUMANS.

Shit happens. A parent’s greatest fear is that something grave is going to happen to their child. I’m not interested in examining how the boy fell into the fucking moat or the animal’s motives. (How about I throw your dumb ass in that exhibit and let a 400-pound behemoth “protect” you by dragging you around?) As a parent of a beautiful, hardly functional (he poops on himself), fun sized (he’s 20 months old) human being, I understand that it’s hard to keep track of their every move. Even if you’re skilled enough to commit hours of completely unbroken surveillance (which is nearly impossible), there’s still a chance that something undesirable may occur. Kids are extremely unpredictable, as is the world in which we live.

We’d all like to think that we would never let something like this Harambe situation happen to our cherished offspring (or theoretical child), but the fact is we don’t know. The only thing we can do is give a valiant effort and pray that the Holy water our local Pastor placed upon the crown of their head, or the benevolent goodness of the cosmic universe, protects them.

While some of y’all busy condemning this woman as the worst mother known to man, y’all are doing irresponsible shit too. Like letting little Jimmy smack you in the damn face because he demands fruit snacks and an iPad. Or completely forgetting to pick Susie up from daycare. Or leaving your infant to die in a car so you can attend a fucking meeting. Or texting while driving with your kids in the backseat on national fucking television. (Some of y’all do this shit every day. STOP!) Or even letting your child slip into a gorilla exhibit. (Yes, this also happened 20 years ago.)

Fun fact: My dad once lost me in a creepy ass Sears, when I was 3. This was circa 1989 when pedophiles were readily sitting in white vans waiting to snatch kids just for sport. According to my mother, she told my pops five times to hold my hand and keep an eye on me, which he did. Yet, I still got loose. Because I was 3. I was small, quick as hell, and thought it was a fabulous idea to hide for 15 minutes underneath an apparel fixture. This doesn’t make my dad “a derelict piece of shit” or mean that “stupid people breed stupid babies.” (Just a few of the ridiculous comments I have read about this boy and his mother.) It only means that SHIT HAPPENS.

And let’s stop pretending that half you faux animal rights activists care about this gorilla. You don’t. You didn’t even know of his existence let alone that Cincinnati had a zoo. (I’ve been there, and it’s kind of a cool zoo.) If you gave a fuck about this gorilla, you’d protest the senseless killing of animals everywhere. Folks out here still recreationally hunting lions, rhinos, and bears, but you mad about this shit?

Luckily there are safety parameters in place to ensure our well-being should shit go south in a hurry. Whether you’re eating a sandwich at Panera Bread or enjoying a day at the zoo, there exists a protocol for worst-case scenarios. And they all prioritize the safety and well-being of HUMANS. The Cincinnati Zoo promptly followed those procedures to prevent the worst possible outcome, a dead child.

The argument whether tranquilizers should have been used is mute and dumb as shit too. Contrary to the honorary degree you think you earned from the University of Google or knowledge you gained from a pet-detective named Ace Ventura, sleeping agents don’t work instantly. In the time, it would have taken for the tranquilizers to take effect who’s to say the gorilla wouldn’t have smashed this child’s skull as if it were a Tahitian coconut? We don’t. Thus, you don’t leave situations like this to chance.

There’s no doubt in my mind that if this boy were white, the mother and child would have a calendar full of invites to every morning talk show. They’d be sitting there cackling it up with Ellen, as she brought out a little monkey for the toddler to play with. The boy would then talk about the valuable lesson he learned. I should have listened to my mother. Also, gorillas are huge as shit and better viewed from afar. We’d hear stories of the torment and agony both the mother and child endured during those horrific 10 minutes. We’d witness empathy and support as mothers’ rights groups would condemn the zoo for its ineffective of barriers. Hell, people would probably even question the need for gorillas being kept captive in a zoo altogether. These dangerous, menaces to the jungle need to go back where they came from.

I love animals. Love them. I’ve had two dogs and cried (real tears) when they were no longer my loyal companion. But if it ever came down to the safety of my child and the life of my dog, I’d chose my child every time. If it was your child’s life and my dog’s, I’m still killing my dog. Because it doesn’t matter if you’re White, Black, or Blue. We’re human beings. And our safety is always the priority.